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The real reasons your marketing team keeps quitting [Video]

The real reasons your marketing team keeps quitting [Video] Blog Feature

Justine Timoteo Thomas

Director of Training, Host of Creator's Block Podcast, 10+ Years of Project Management Experience

November 23rd, 2019 min read

Let me guess… you assumed your marketing director or associate was happy, things were moving along, and that your marketing efforts were positively impacting your bottom line. 

But then he or she quit.

Now you’re left scratching your head because this is the third or fifth or tenth marketing person who has left your company.

What gives?

Well, as someone who quit my marketing positions three times in my career, I can assure you that they were not happy or satisfied in their day-to-day.

I’ve always been good at my job but never really felt fulfilled and chalked that feeling up to me just not being passionate about marketing.

In my — and probably my employer’s — eyes, it was my fault. I always put a lot of blame on myself thinking, “am I meant to spend my entire career feeling complacent?”

I’m here to tell you that it isn’t all on the individual marketer. In fact, leaders from my past companies are partly to blame for why I left.

Chris Marr, the founder and creator of Content Marketing Academy, recently joined the IMPACT team and has an entire video series dedicated to marketing leadership. I was watching it the other day and one particular video — Why do marketers keep leaving their job? — struck a chord with me. 

In it, Chris talks about two key things:

  1. What drives marketers to quit
  2. What you, as a leader of the company, can do about this turnover trend

Give it a watch!

The marketing turnover trend

Marketing departments have some of the highest turnover rates out of all departments across a business; a whopping 17%. But why?

Why do marketers keep leaving? The biggest reasons why your marketing staff is turning over is because:

  1. Leadership is setting too high of expectations
  2. Leadership undervalues the marketing department
  3. Marketers are bored and do not feel challenged
  4. Marketers feel their work has no purpose
  5. Marketers do not have any guidance or assistance in their professional or personal development

Now, imagine feeling like you’re not making any professional progress or that you’re unsure the work you spend 40-50 hours a week on truly has an impact.

How motivated would you be to continue showing up to work, day after day, and putting forth your best effort?

And if this is happening across your entire department, imagine how low the morale is.

This is what I experienced the most with previous employers.

I would reach a point where I didn’t feel like I was being challenged to grow and ultimately left for a different job that utilized my skills and career path. 

It’s a competitive marketplace, with the number of marketing manager positions expected to rise by 10% nationwide by 2026. So, if you don’t improve your team’s morale, it won’t be difficult for them to move on for another marketing job somewhere else.

Let’s take a look at how much money these turnovers are costing you.

How much a new hire is costing you

There are so many factors that go into hiring a quality employee. Aside from the obvious — recruiting and paying the individual — there are many more additional costs associated with new hires, like the investment needed to properly onboard them.

The average company loses anywhere between 1% and 2.5% of their total revenue on the time it takes to bring a new hire up to speed. That means, if you are a $2 million company, you spend anywhere from $20,000 - $50,000 on onboarding and training per year

And since you need to replace an employee instead of hiring a new one outright, it’s even more expensive.

Research by SHRM notesit takes up to 50-60% of an employee’s annual salary to find a direct replacement.” That means, for someone who was making $50,000, simply finding a new hire costs you $25,000 - $30,000 (and that’s for one person who left).

How much money could you be saving by simply investing in the people you already have?

What leaders can do differently to change the pattern

I’m going to assume you are tired of wasting all of that money (and energy). So, what can you, as an organizational leader, do differently to make sure your marketing dept and team stick around? 

The short answer is, you need to ensure they are happy and that they feel like the work they spend their days doing is positively impacting the business, that is has a real purpose. To do so:

1. Involve your marketing team on a strategic level

If your marketing team is involved when strategic decisions are being made, they will have a greater understanding of the impact their work has on the bigger picture.

Instead of feeling like they are tasked with reaching arbitrary goals, the marketing team is part of the discussion as to why specific goals are set and grasp the results achieving these goals brings to the company.

This helps solves for marketers feeling like their work has no purpose.

It will also allow them to have a voice and ensure your leadership team and marketing team are aligned on setting expectations, as well as enabling you to truly see the impact (and value) the marketing team brings the company.

2. Focus on professional and personal development opportunities

Spend time with your team on both professional and personal development. This should be done individually so you can help identify each person’s strengths and weaknesses and learn what kind of projects excite them. Also, get to know them as people! 

By focusing on these two critical elements, you will increase your chance of retaining top talent and grow a culture where people want to work. This will not only save you time and money on recruiting and onboarding new employees, but will also give you the opportunity to connect with your team on a more personal level.

Because the truth is — and I’ve learned this first hand — the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It’s greener where you water it.

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